Yesterday, Martin, Joey and I headed up north to the Hammerhead Model Show, which is held just outside Newark, which is a little way outside Nottingham. It’s actually not too long a drive for us, and we’ve been itching to get to some shows since they all disappeared during COVID and following the disappointment of Salute last year.
The usual caveats, then the photos, then the commentary:
- I suck as a photographer, etc.
- The models were mostly in round perspex display cases, some of which were a little scratched or fogged. The competition organisers were gracious enough to pull some models out for me when they were available, but I didn’t want to take up all their time and slow down the entry process or judging.
- I didn’t get all the winners because Martin won four categories and he doesn’t need help spamming his photos all over the internet. If you’d like to see the rest of his stuff, it’s all on his Instagram.
For results, we took the following:
- Martin: gold in open (dragon), historical single figure (highlander), sci-fi single figure (Ares) and fantasy single figure (troll), and best of show (troll).
- Joey: bronze in open (girl on wolf over waterfall).
- Fet: silver in historical single figure (10mm Saracen) and bronze in sci-fi single figure (post-apocalyptic chap).
The show is very much a gaming show, rather than a dedicated painting show, so the standard was good, but not necessarily amazing – having said that, the top entries were all excellent. There were some entries that really caught my attention – in particular the collection of post-apocalyptic cars, which I thought was a really novel approach to the ‘sci-fi group’ category.
The lighting was actually quite good, despite there not being any dedicated lights for the show. Unfortunately, the big windows on the side of the building were behind the cabinets, which did make it occasionally difficult to take photos, but they didn’t interfere with being able to actually see the models in person. Overall, I’d say the lighting was fine for the purposes of the show. Had it been a bit darker outside, this might not have been the case.
The cabinet shelves were probably a bit too shallow, which made it awkward to see some models, and meant that others had to be relegated to the table or the tops of the cabinets. While this did make it easier to see those models, it also made it a little difficult to figure out what models were in each category.
The judging seemed like it was pretty accurate, but it was hard to really know, as they didn’t announce anyone other than the golds. You found out if you’d won anything when you collected your models. There also wasn’t anything for people who came second or third, which is a bit of a shame. I don’t think the organisers need to sort out trophies or anything, but a nice branded card or something would at least give those people who placed something to take home and put on the trophy shelf.
I assume the full results will be published in Wargames Illustrated, but it would be better to have something physical on the day, and would also be good (especially for the junior category) to announce the full list of winners on the day.
Outside of the painting competition, there were a lot of traders, including quite a few with things to offer painters – airbrushes, modelling tools and supplies, etc. A couple of traders were also selling models more likely to appeal to painters rather than gamers, which was nice to see.
A strong positive for me was the social element. While there wasn’t a massive number of painters, those who were there were very friendly and we got to chatting to them, inviting them to the Fen Model Show in April. Hopefully we’ll actually have enough space for everyone…
All up, this was a fun show that we’ll probably come back to. I think Martin feels little like he brought a gun to a knife fight, so we’ll see if his competitive side can be beaten back to stop him dominating next year.
Update: James, who ran the competition, has been in touch and tells me that this was the first year they awarded second and third places, so the announcement issue is really a teething problem, and next year they’ll be sure to announce all the winners. Huzzah! Also, I apparently got bronze in sci-fi single figure, so I’ve updated that above.